Star Trek and Semiotics Essay

800 Words4 Pages
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” was a sci-fi television show that offered adventure, discovery, and communication with other human-like species from other planets. This series was a later version of the original Star Trek series of the late 1960s. Like the original series, The Next Generation often used current issues or themes that reflected the times. The Episode “Darmok” is a perfect example of the importance of communication and the sometimes baffling, frustrating, and crucial efforts we have to make to understand one another. The Enterprise is on a mission to make contact with a race called the Tamarians. They have been sending out messages to The Federation for many weeks, and no one knows why. At the beginning of the episode The Enterprise receives a transmission from the “Children of Darmok.” No one aboard the ship can understand what the Tamarians are trying to communicate to the crew, when suddenly they teleport Captain Picard to what appears to be an uninhabited planet. On the planet surface Captain Picard meets the Tamarian leader. Picard can not understand his speech, and mistakes his gestures as a threat or challenge. He refuses the supposed challenge and they separate. As the day turns into night they sit separately from each other and the Darmok makes a fire. When Picard’s fire fails the Tamarian captain throws him some wood declaring “Timber, his arms wide.” Finally Picard realizes that he is speaking in metaphors; Darmok is trying to help him. Meanwhile back on the Enterprise the crew are plotting to rescue their captain; they communicate with the other Tamarians and frantically research how they communicate. But without a semiotic contract, or an agreement to use the same signs, or symbols in the anguage it is nearly impossible to decipher. They determine that the language would actually be easy to interpret if one knew the legends and folk

More about Star Trek and Semiotics Essay

Open Document