TechRepublic.com: Sci-fi rant: When did Star Trek jump the shark?:
…there was the Borg Queen, and that ruined everything.
The Borg were originally defined as genderless, faceless, nameless, all-consuming man-machine hybrids with which you could not negotiate, could not overpower, and only by sheer luck and creative individuality could you ever hope to defeat-temporarily. That is until First Contact, for which the producers needed a conventional villain for the “dumb audience,” so we get Alice Krige gothed up in H.R. Giger fetish gear going all creepy-vampy on Data and retconning Locutus of Borg from a terrifying perversion of our beloved Captain Picard into a spurned cyborg concubine that Miss Borgy needed to acquire some V’ger-esque spark of humanity.
The Borg Queen single-handedly diminished the Borg from a personification of everyone’s secret fear of the dehumanizing power of technology and conformity run amok into two-bit techno-zombie henchmen of everyone’s un-fondly remembered codependent ex-girlfriend. (It’s worth noting that in First Contact, the Borg assimilate you vampire-bite style, rather than through the slow, tortuous process seen in “The Best of Both Worlds.” These are B-movie monsters now, not powerfully terrifying metaphors for identity-stripping monoculture.)
TechRepublic.com: When did Star Wars jump the shark?:
…Phantom Menace came along and, with all due disrespect to Jar Jar Binks, gave us the single worst Star Wars moment in a rapidly expanding history of awful Star Wars moments: Midi-chlorians.
Jedi, you see, aren’t made, they’re born. They’re of the blood, nobility, maybe even a master race. If your midi-chlorian count isn’t high enough, don’t even bother to apply. Anakin Skywalker was basically the equivalent of a can’t-miss basketball prospect from the mean streets of Tatooine who got a Jedi Academy scholarship despite being a punk. Yeah, that’s going to resonate with all the athletically addled dorks who used to idolize the franchise.
Yoda wasn’t awesome because he was a zen-master adept who spent centuries honing his communion with The Force, but because his little frog-pig body was jam-packed with psionic parasites. That single slap in the face to Star Wars fans was the first of many attempts by Lucas to expand and explain the mechanics of his franchise, and in the process he knocked out the foundations of what was once the coolest character concept in all of sci-fi. Thanks, George.
Fun, worthy of argument 🙂