It’s no shock I’m a Star Trek fan — I’ve even gone so far as to detail my introduction to that world on this very blog. And it’s no secret that I like to microfocus on pretty much everything, which is where the following barrage of thoughts come from.
So, the Romulans were based on the Roman Empire. The Klingons were based on the Feudal Japanese, or, depending on who you ask, the Imperial Japanese of World War II. The Cardassians are pretty obviously a parallel for the Soviet Union, with the Obsidian Order standing in for the KGB.
So who the fuck are these guys?
The Jem’Hadar showed up at the end of Deep Space Nine’s second season, and they were presented as the be-all-end-all of military evolution, the soldier class of the monolithic Dominion from the Gamma Quadrant. And I don’t think they were meant to parallel any culture in Earth history… which is pretty cool.
See, there’s a long history in science fiction of using far-out situations (like the world of Star Trek) to comment on any number of social issues. That’s how the genre was born, after all. So seeing parallels like the ones above pop up isn’t all that surprising.
But to create something out of whole cloth? That’s cool in its own way, and it shows that science fiction can evolve as a genre, that it doesn’t have to limit itself to social commentary.
So, what’s your favorite, wholly original sci-fi work?