Real Star Trek Fans Know Henry Starling Did Nothing Wrong

Star Trek: Voyager was a great TV series. What I have never been able to figure out after all these years is why in the two part episode "Future's End" the Federation crew seemingly decided to become the villains.

Granted Captain Braxton's (Allan Royal) "telling but not showing" exposition at the beginning of the story was like a big neon sign letting the audience know that the Voyager crew were the baddies this time. I still wasn't prepared for how evil the crew was going to be the first time I watched.

Was there some repressed aggression against Ferengi that the "evolved humans" of the 24th century thought they could appropriately act upon against an innocent 20th century capitalist? Who thought that was some kind of healthy psychological therapy? Was it Deanna Troi's (Marina Sirtis) idea? I bet it was.

A casual fan might be on the side of the Voyager crew. I guess that can be expected. A casual fan has seen a few episodes and in all those other episodes the Voyager crew were the "good guys". Henry Starling (Ed Begley, Jr.) didn't have that same level of omniscience as the audience. What Starling did know was the future technology. Since Starling already knew there would have been no Prime Directive violation for Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) to have been honest from the very beginning and disclose their story to Starling. Instead the Voyager crew acted suspicious justifying Starling's skepticism when Janeway finally decided to be forthright.

A real Star Trek fan knows that in "The Ship" Sisko claimed the "old legal tradition" of salvage rights to a crashed Jem'Hadar fighter. Sisko wanted to use the technology from the alien ship to help the Federation fight a war against the Dominion. A Changling died because of that. When the legal tradition wasn't quite so old Henry Starling claimed salvage rights to a crashed timeship. He wanted to use the future technology to benefit humanity. Sarah Silverman's character lived.

Meme modified from Star Trek: Voyager image