Shaw doesn’t point it out, but there is a plot error in the 1998 film “Star Trek: Insurrection” that makes Picard and Riker seem even more irresponsible than they actually were. In that film, Starfleet, having teamed up with a shady species called the So’Na, plans to forcibly relocate a remote colony of peaceful Ba’Ku farmers, kidnapping them from their homes. The Ba’Ku planet is home to a rare type of radiation that can rejuvenate living cells and allow people to live for centuries without growing old or becoming sick. Picard commits an insurrection to protect the Ba’Ku, feeling that forced relocation is wrong under any circumstances.
It’s said in “Insurrection” that the fountain-of-youth radiation cannot be captured and transported away from the Ba’Ku homeworld without destroying its source. It’s also explained that the Ba’Ku homeworld is located in a region of space that is difficult to enter. Many viewers will be able to see the solution right away: simply build a Starfleet medical facility on this planet. Find ways to more easily traverse the dangerous region of space, make a deal with the Ba’Ku to never interfere with their lives, and allow this medical miracle to proliferate among the many sick people who might need it. No reason to relocate anyone, or destroy the source of life-giving radiation.
Instead, Picard does the ridiculous thing, defies order, and fires phasers at the So’Na marauders. Riker gets into another spacebound firefight, and explosions occur. Picard even blows up the So’Na leader (F. Murray Abraham) out of what looks like spite. And was anyone disciplined for the insurrection? Nope.
Yes, it was a silly way to defy Starfleet orders, and Shaw was right to point out how bad things got for Picard. As always, Shaw is right.
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