Sgathaich: Star Trek – Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

Sgathaich, an old woman with long hair and wearing a crown

I’m happy to say I’ve finally been able to watch Star Trek Strange New Worlds. The new series is set a few years before the original series starring Captain Pike who was the captain in the original pilot for Star Trek. But some people got uppity complaining that Star Trek had suddenly become political. These people are idiots, so let’s go talk about an episode from the original series everyone just points at when people are talking about politics in Star Trek.

Now Star trek Season 3 is not good. While I will often say people have rose tinted glasses to ToS and that there was a lot of bad. When it comes to Season 3 the ratio between bad and good is so much in favour of bad, I would say you should just skip it… BUT this episode is not a bad one and is very memorable. You ever see people at a sci fi or comic… just any collection of nerds really, and one of the cosplayers has one side of their face white and one black? that’s from this episode. The episode opens with the Enterprise on route to the planet Ariannus to deal with a Battarial invasion and they need to do some orbital germ killing basically. However, they find a craft while on the way, a stolen shuttle craft, the occupant now out of oxygen and about to die. Bringing the shuttle onboard they find the strange occupant Lokai whose skin is black on his left side and white on the right.

Lokai with one side of his face white and one side black from the Star Trek episode

Things are exacerbated when the bridge is soon visited by Bele whose tones are on the opposite side and claims Lokai is a terrorist and he’s come to bring him in for arrest. Lokai on the other hand says his people are oppressed and merely fights for freedom and justice.

It’s not very subtle in that it has the crew of the Enterprise openly confront them with the notion they are just the same race and that their ancestors were probably mono-pigment too. Nether wishes to believe this and affirm not only that they are different races but also that the other is wrong and to be hated.

The climax of the episode is very memorable in the reveal of what the hatred of these two has ultimately led to.

To the episode’s strength, despite it being blatantly clear it’s about racial hatreds and what that will ultimately lead to. The crew of the Enterprise are not as holier than though or sanctimonious as some other Star Trek episodes would do. While showing that humanity in Star Trek no longer has discrimination on race it lets the issues of Lokai and Bele show for themselves.

Season 3 of ToS is bad, with its Spock’s brain, the Enterprise being taken over by hippies or Rodenberry himself writing a massively sexist episode that said women are inferior and can’t be captain… but this episode stands out as memorable for all the right reasons to the point you could mistake it for a season 2 episode.


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