Ron D. Moore Q & A from AOL's Message Boards
Dated 9811.18

Q: How did a racist like Solak get command of a starship?

A: Solok is not a racist anymore than Spock was.

Q: Why is Solak's entire senior staff made up of Vulcans? Are starfleet ships segregated?

A: We see many, many starships that are almost entirely populated by Humans, why couldn't there be ships crewed entirely or almost entirely by Vulcans? The Intrepid was an all-Vulcan crew in TOS.

Q: Why would Solak, with his disdain for humans, care about recieving the Christopher Pike Medal, whcih is named after a human?

A: You're reaching to make a point. Solok's gripe was with Sisko first and Humans second. He held a grudge as long as Sisko did, which may be illogical but is not racist. Also, the analogies to 20th century Earth-bound racism begin to break down when you consider that these are different species we're talking about here, not different races of the same species. Granted, we sometimes use the tensions between aliens as a metaphor for our own contemporary problems, but that metaphor only goes so far. Some aliens are definitely and quantitatively superior to others in the Trek galaxy and the observation of that point is not analogous to racial hatred as we experience it today. Vulcans are superior to Humans in many ways. That is a fact, not a racial slur.

Q: Re: Sarah Sisko and the Prophets' involvement in Ben's birth: First, even though this conception wasn't quite immaculate, we did learn that a spirit considered to be holy did descend upon the Mother, leading to the birth of the Bajorans' savior. How intentional was the Christ parallel? (And was Sarah a virgin at the time?)

A: We talked about the parallels, but we also talked about various other myths and legends as we worked through the Sisko backstory.

Q: Second, the prophet tells Ben that the union of Joe and Sarah was necessary. Will you be following up on this at all? Why did the Prophets have to go to such lengths? Why did the Emissary have to be the offspring of these two humans, rather than any other of the trillion citizens of the Alpha Quadrant? ("Because Ira thought it was a cool idea" is an acceptable answer.)

A: There will be more to come on this subject.

Q: Re: Dax: One of the things that always bothered me about Trill characters is that the symbiont is so very dominant in the joining. Poor Ezri, it seems, has had her body possessed by this demon who makes her stand on her head and drink raktajino. There is almost no evidence of the former Ezri, the young woman who presumably had a perfectly nice life prior to joining and running off to Jadzia's old posting. Any chance this part of the character will be shown in the near future?

A: In "Prodigal Daughter" you'll get a chance to see Ezri's family and see exactly what her life was like prior to her joining.

Q: Was "Take Me Out..." purposefully timed to run during the World Series? And since I've heard there are some Yankee fans on the writing staff did you or any of your staff get to the World Series especially since it was close by in San Diego?

A: We knew it would air close to the series, but didn't know it would be the same week. The entire writing staff was poised to go to Game 5 -- which left Ira, Rene, and I in the odd position of rooting against the Yanks in Game 4. Serves us right.

Q: Mr. Moore, I was just wondering that since you worked on Star Trek 7 and 8, how Rick Berman and TPTB use test screenings for Trek films. Does Paramount put more , less, or about the same weight on Test screenings for Trek films than other films ? Which were more important for Generations and First Contact, the first test screenings, because they were really the first time someone got to look at the films or the final test screenings because that's when everything was completed ? How did test screening results affect Generations and First Contact ? On a more personal level, what is your opinion of the whole test screening process ? What are its' strengths ? weaknesses ? and how would improve the process ?

A: We only had one test screening on both "Generations" and "First Contact" and in both cases, I'd say the results only confirmed what we already knew. In the first instance, we knew we had a problem with the ending and the test audience said the same thing. The results then prompted the studio to let us reshoot the ending and it's doubtful that would've happened had we not had the screening at all. In the second instance, we were all high on the film and the screening told us that we had a hit on our hands, so there was a great deal of relief spread around the lot. I personally have mixed feelings about the whole testing process. There are some aspects to it that seem like dubious propositions, such as the "focus group" selected at the end. Usually a group of 10 to 15 are selected for intensive questioning after the rest of the audience are dismissed. These sessions quickly devolve into seminars on "the film I wish I'd seen" or "other films I liked" instead of meaningful comment on the film that was just shown. Testing is a fact of life, due to the enormous amounts of money at stake for the studio, however, and one has to simply take the good with the bad.

Q: Dear Ron -- I may not be the first to ask you this, but even if *you* aren't the one to do it, do you think *someone* on staff will write the lyrics to the UFP anthem before series' end? And who did the music? Thanks!

A: I doubt any of us will write the lyrics unless we have to and the music was done by David Bell.

Q: Ron, I was wondering how I would go about getting ahold of the DS9 season 7, VOY SEason 5, and Insurrection Press Kitts. I've heard that they can be found since I've noticed that Convention dealers sell the photo's from them. Would you know how I'd go about getting ahold of one of these?

A: I think you'd have to deal with Paramount publicity for that. Call 213-956-5000 and ask for Star Trek publicity.

Q: This is been bothering me for some time now. Why do flight controllers (aka helm officers) wear red uniforms just like command officers do? I've never understood this. Science and medical are both blue, this make sense. They are related fields. Operations, enginnering and security all wear gold, this also makes sense. These are all service-related fields. But helm (conn) and command officers wearing red? What does helm control have to do with command? And why is strategic operations a red uniform job? I have looked and looked for an answer and cannot find one.

A: The theory is that a red uniform denotes someone who is on the career path for eventual command of a ship, station or base. Under that notion, a command-bound officer could be assigned to any position as part of his or her training.

Q: You didn't mention how you thought "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" turned out. (Personally, I had a blast, and I imagine it must have been a lot of fun to write.).

A: I was very happy with it. My own criticism of the show is that I didn't spend enough time with Solok before or during the game. He should've been a stronger presence in the show so that when he gets his just desserts in the end you feel like he really had it coming. It also would've been nice to have had the Sisko/Kasidy scene in which he revealed the backstory an act earlier in the show so that you understood what was driving him a little sooner. But overall, it accomplished what I wanted it to.

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