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Wesley Crusher: A Defence

August 9, 2012


Wesley ‘grey jumpsuit’ Crusher = possibly the most annoying character in the whole Star Trek Universe [Special mentions go to Neelix, Harry Kim and the mute from TNG: Season 2]

Actually, I was gonna leave this page blank, but then I thought that would be a bit of a cheap shot…it’s always better to try and put some extra thought into things, instead of just ‘joke and run’, right?

Okay, let’s see what I can come up with…

1] Wesley annoyed all races
The base philosophy of Star Trek: everyone is equal. Wesley followed this in a pretty tight way. Off the top of my head, I remember him annoying Picard [French], Troi [Betazoid], Worf [Klingon], Engineer Singh [Indian], the planet that thought very highly of flowers…anyone else?

2] Embodiment of Trek
They say he was based on Gene Roddenberry when he was a kid, and Star Trek was that guy’s vision of a better future. All characters in each series have had their flaws…Kirk was a cowboy, Spock was cold, Riker was a playboy etc…and they pretty much existed in a universe where their ideals were often better than they were.

Wesley, on the other hand, was near-perfection. He was a prodigy, he cared about aliens, he was innocent, naïve, innocently naïve. All the good things about Trek were reflected through him [it’s interesting that people find him so annoying, whereas a character like  ‘Garak’ in ‘DS9’ is a fan favourite].

The only problem with being near-perfect is the lack of conflict and drama it results in [Except when Wesley came up against people who were as devious and cynical as he was naïve and do-gooding – example: the alien pilot from the episode where Picard and Wesley crash on the desert planet].

The more perfect the character, the less exciting the drama [unless he’s on a ship full of assholes].

Conclusion: no-one likes someone who smiles the whole damn time.

3] Saving Ensign Mendon
Remember the episode where Riker transfers to the Klingon ship and the guy with the accordion attached to his mouth comes on board the Enterprise?

Never has an ensign fucked up so many things in such a short space of time. If it’d gone on any longer, the episode would’ve ended with Mendon going down to Ten Forward, drinking himself delirious and blowing his brains out over Guinan’s blue hat.

But halfway through the episode, after Picard’s just called him a twat in front of the whole bridge crew, Wesley takes him to one side and turns that accordion upside down. He does this by offering some patronising shit about how ‘it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you don’t kill anyone’.

It seems trite, but appears to work.

4] The First Duty
A decent Wesley-centric episode. This is down to seven things, six of which I’ve forgotten. But the first is the most important, so it doesn’t matter much.

Wesley is not a genius in this episode. He doesn’t know something the others don’t because he’s so fucking smart.
He’s fucked up, some kid’s died, and he doesn’t know what to do about it.
This equals drama.

5] He knew Lore was Lore and not Data.
If he hadn’t exposed Lore then the whole crew would’ve been eaten by a crystal during the first season.

6] Future Wesley
The episode where Riker is given Q’s powers and turns Wesley into an 80’s wrestler [dressed down in knitted sweater]…

Luckily Wesley left for Starfleet Academy before this could become a reality. [Actually, he never ended up looking like that, which means it must’ve been Riker’s projection of what he thought Wesley might become…this really shows Riker to be a lot dumber than most people thought, with no knowledge of genetics or facial development].

7] Jerry Hardin
The guy who also played ‘Deep Throat’ in the X Files. Without Wesley Crusher, he may never have had the work he got on ‘When the Bough Breaks’.

[Working on Star Trek = never going hungry. No matter how small your role, conventions will welcome you with open arms, and you can start charging for your autograph. I think the regulars charge around $30 for each one, so Jerry Hardin could probably get away with $10.]

8] I think I’ve done quite well to get to eight.

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